Johnny's Half Shell
Johnny's Half Shell

Johnny's Half Shell

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.johnnyshalfshell.net/
  • Phone: 2027370400x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 9:30am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Ann Cashion
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Whether it is business or pleasure, Johnny is Half Shell wants your private event to be memorable. Our five rooms, including our outdoor terrace, are versatile enough to accommodate any size party, and any style event. In addition, the entire restaurant, or a portion of the restaurant, may be reserved.
  • Private Party Facilities: Whether it’s business or pleasure, Johnny’s Half Shell wants your private event to be memorable. Our five rooms, including our outdoor terrace, are versatile enough to accommodate any size party, and any style event. In addition, the entire restaurant, or a portion of the restaurant, may be reserved.
  • Private Party Contact: Merrill Bankston 2027370820x
  • Entertainment:

Getting there

  • Cross Street: between E Street and Louisana Ave.
  • Public Transit: Union Station on the Metro Red Line. Walk across Massachussette right onto E street turn lelf on North Capitol. We are next to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free validated parking in the Hall of the State lot on E Street between New Jersey and North Capitol available nightly after 5:00 pm.
A word from Johnny's Half Shell
Opened in 1999, and chosen by Gourmet Magazine in 2000 as one of "America's Best Restaurants," Johnny's Half Shell relocated to its present Capitol Hill location in September 2006. Renditions of Chesapeake and Gulf Coast Seafood remained the kitchen's focus, and the restaurant's new home maintained its homespun conviviality. Said Washingtonian Magazine, "The capitol dome shines in the background, a reminder of the new, more serious-minded neighbors who come here. But Johnny's still feels like home." In September 2007, New York Times dubbed the new venue a "Capital Gain" for Washington, DC.
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Johnny's Half Shell reviews from OpenTable diners
133 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
76% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (56)fit for foodies (40)great for lunch (38)special occasion (32)good for groups (27)neighborhood gem (26)romantic (23)notable wine list (14)great for brunch (11)vibrant bar scene (8)scenic view (8)hot spot (7)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (3)Show More
  • Great experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Johnny's was a little pricey for someone from PA but no more expensive than anywhere else in DC. Great service and great food. I would recommend the place to family and friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing exciting
    saweber
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Went for the happy hours and had oysters, cheese and beer with the intention of staying for dinner. Needless to say, it wasn't worth staying! The place was really dead, even for a Monday at happy hour. The staff was rude and seemed to be bothered that we where even there. Once we sat in the outside bar area our main server was a but better but still not very enthusiastic to be working. The bar area smelled funny and wasn't very conducive for relaxing and chatting with friends. The oysters where edible but not great, the cheese was tiny and everything was over priced even at happy hour pricing. Will not be returning that's for sure. The Dubliner around the corner is a great spot, we went there after.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This was such a pleasant surprise. Appetizer, and entrees were absolutely delicious. Service was great and dining outside was so pleasant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Dining Experience
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food and staff were outstanding. The out door seating area is very romantic. The music played in the background added to the ambience. We were fortunate to have a beautiful August evening. Definitely going back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Second RW dinner
    DCcatwoman
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Really good dinner. Fried oysters were delicious, shrimp etouffee was spicy & excellent (and a generous portion) & the ginger cake was very good as a well. Definitely will go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1st time
    Never
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Could be a lot more happy to see customers upon arrival for a less than half full. Salad dressing burnt our lips and tongue. Must have more than 1 dressing. Cole slaw was interesting but not to our taste. Crab cakes were OK. Good crab meat. Staff was not very friendly. Not outgoing. I made a jovial comment upon seating and got zero response. Staff was attentive to drinks and water. The bar was very noisy from a small group. Set a noisy bar atmosphere. Overpriced menu and drinks.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice, quiet dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This spot is tucked away on Capitol Hill. Great for a quiet dinner for you and yours. Food was an 7.8/10
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Restaurant Week Meal
    DCcatwoman
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Very nice evening at Johnny's. I had the New Orleans File Gumbo--spicy, creamy & delicious; Sautéed Sea Scallops--tasty and well prepared, but only 4 small/medium pieces in serving--even for RW menu, five would have been a more reasonable portion; Chocolate Angel Food cake was pretty good, but I'd try the other choice, Gingered Peach Shortcake, which might be more interesting. Service was a bit slow, I had to ask for more iced tea for sitting for a while with an empty glass. The server was working very hard on that crowded patio; they were understaffed. Overall a really good meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    Swoozin
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Our party of five were able to dine here for restaurant week on our visit to DC. I thoroughly enjoyed the charbroiled oysters, as did my family! The steak my daughter ordered was amazing! All of our main courses were good, but if you are not a fan of olives, do not order the scallops. I asked that the olives be taken out when I ordered and that did not happen. Overall though, I think this is a good restaurant.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing Restaurant Week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Had heard lots of good things about Johnny's Half Shell, but would not return based on the Restaurant Week experience alone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • honey
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    odor in the restaurant, but enjoyed outdoor seating and shrimp and grits.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Restaurant Week Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    A few of my co-workers and I went for lunch during Restaurant Week. We had outside seating and the food and service were great.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Annual Restaurant Lunch
    GrlsDOL1
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My friends and I have been taking advantage of Restaurant Week for several years. We don't go back to many restaurants as we see this as a chance to try new places. However, Johnny's is a favorite for us. This was a repeat visit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    The shrimp and rrits along with the shrimp po-boy sandwich was outstanding!!!! I will be back!!! :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great!
    ENDC
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    My experience was love. Very nice spot; definitely recommend to anyone.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    Sunflower
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Service and ambiance were great, but food was disappointing. We ordered from the Restaurant Week menu, and the selections were not nearly as good as last year. Gazpacho, the porgy entree, and the peach cobbler all were, well, blah. Cobbler seemed to have been made with canned -- rather than fresh -- peaches.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Location, Lackluster Food
    Foodlover
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Restaurant Week lunch at Johnny's was mediocre at best. The gumbo was over-spiced and the porgy fillet was edible but unremarkable. The best part was the peach shortcake, which was divine. Had I made my entire meal out of the dessert, my review may be different. In addition, the strange white overcoats the service staff have to wear are outdated and look mightily uncomfortable. The main server was very friendly, but the rest of the wait staff appeared irritated and unfriendly. This was my first time at Johnny's and most likely my last. I was singularly unimpressed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, location and atmosphere
    PACMOR
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The outdoor dining experience was exceptional. Service was great. Just the right amount of attention to our needs, but never intrusive. Everyone at Jack's seemed to be having a great time! The food was excellent. I have already recommended Jack's and look forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • more than just oysters
    beeindcVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    We stopped in after getting off a bus at Union Station. What a lovely place to unwind. The oysters were out of this world briny and fresh. The whole flounder with lime sauce was amazing. I love the outside area. A nice quiet place to have a great dinner and relax
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • martinr
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    a great meal in pleasant sorroundings, and I would like to go back again, for a meal, or just for a drink or two
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and service
    Jimchicago
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    During our visit we had our special dinner here. We really enjoyed the oysters, squid, and broiled crab cakes. The service was great and the drinks were stiff. The menu was great because it had a mix of seafood and meat.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TreRVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The menu had very few options. Not what one would expect from a Washingtonian top 100 restaurant. Oysters were good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • dinner with friends
    Rich
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Soft shell crabs, halibut, crabs cakes, whole flounder-- all good-- what more can you ask for?? OH YES GOOD WINE TOO!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy food
    FoodLover
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed the fresh seafood. It was soft shell crab season so they had it on the menu and it was delightful. We recommend the crab cakes, they are full of crab meat and not just the fillers. The restaurant is very noisy and your tables are right next to each other so there's no sense of intimacy. The staff is very friendly and attentive, but you pay for it as the price is very expensive.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bill Mason
    Bill
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We were pleasantly surprised this had been here and we had never been before. Creative dishes. Mostly seafood--which we were looking for--could have ordered several items on menu. We will be back soon.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Choice on Capitol Hill
    Paul
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Good food and great service near Capitol Hill. I would recommend it for the atmosphere and the oysters. Seafood selections are first-rate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprised!
    Freestate
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Lobster was extremely small and the broiling made the legs unable to produce any meat. I had to ask for a cloth to clean my hands once finished. Wait staff had on dirty smocks. This was at 6:30 PM. My companions felt their meals were excellent. One ordered a second glass of wine when the meal was half finished. Wine appeared at the table at the end of the meal. Restaurant was not that busy
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food and View
    GracieNJ629
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Very good food! The outdoor dining was perfect with the view of the capitol building. The appetizers were delicious especially the oysters.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic upscale seafood experience
    LonesomeCowboyBill
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Title says it all. If your looking for the white tablecloth, white wine seafood experience, Johnny's delivers, without being generic. Find a spot on the patio if you can.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Salty
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    In DC for the first time. This restaurant was close to our hotel so we decided to try it. We are from the west coast and wanted to try east coast seafood. Prices are roughly the same as the SF Bay Area. We went with crab cakes and blue crabs. The crab cakes were good, but the side dishes were too salty. The blue crabs were too salty also. Service was friendly and attentive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Overall we would say the meal was good but not really what we would expect from a top 100 restaurant for the price. Two appetizers – fried calamari and corn chowder. Corn chowder was a non-creamy bowl of warm water filled with small pieces of corn along with several other vegetable diced very finely, no apparent seasoning. Calamari’s flavor OK, but few of them with a too-thick breading, giving them a gummy texture. Definitely overpriced. For entrees we both ordered crispy whole flounder. The fish was very good, with well-cooked meat a crispy skin. For dessert, strawberry shortcake was made with a biscuit, not cake, just as it should be. The biscuit was very tasty and the plentiful strawberries had lots of flavor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best catfish ever!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Ordered the catfish and have also had the Shrimp Etouffee before; both dishes are outstanding!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for group
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Excellent salad. Great for groups! nice wine. great service and attention
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy hour trump diners experience
    JennS
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Upon arriving, there was a huge happy hour at the bar that was spilling into the dining area. To avoid that, We asked to eat outside and sure enough they had set up Another organized happy hour outside, so large that the patrons were spilling over into the dining area outside. We could not wait to leave the screaming hordes of party goers. Our meal was ruined. To pay over 100 for two people to eat marginal food while sitting amongst a throng of loud drinkers was a miserable experience. Never again. And the spinach salad for $14 is a few pieces of spinach leaves with some beets (yuck) and radishes (yuck) on the side. Do. Not. Order.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Great place and many good seafood options. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Close but not quite
    JBJayhawk
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Won't make you forget the Acme Oyster House, but kudos for having Leidenheimer bread
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Went twice
    Cymb
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The food and service was incredible. We went twice. I cannot wait to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good stuff
    lisa1116
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Great meal, great waiter, great patio. When I made the reservation I noted that it was my mom's birthday. At the end of the meal, our waiter brought out a hand-signed birthday card from the owner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Enough
    FrequentFlyerFriar
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Not sure what they were going for In regard to atmosphere. Modern 90s ? The food was well prepared but portions a bit small. Dinner for two with cocktails and no wine came to +/- $160.00. Free parking in a neighboring underground garage made the experience a bit more enjoyable. Amtrak's Union Station is within sight of the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Graduation Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    My husband and I were just in DC for my MBA graduation. I read great reviews on Johnny's and since we love oysters it was a must. The service was excellent. The food was delicious. We sat outside and it was really beautiful. The wine list was great and we couldn't stop talking about how good the oysters were. They even gave me a card that said Congrats from Johnny's. We'll be back for sure!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.